"Opposite Corkscrew Mountain the road
turned abruptly around a point of rock. Charlotte
and I were walking ahead of the wagon,
we went gayly to the end of the promontory and
were brought to a sudden stop by what we saw.
There, without any warning of its nearness, like
an unexpected crash of orchestral music, lay the
terrible valley, the beautiful, the overwhelming
The Official Worrier stopped the wagon.
Though he thought us insane, though he declared
he could see none of the colors and enchantments
we had been pointing out to him, he was moved.
From the look that came into his eyes we knew
that, whether he admitted it or not, like Shady
Myrick he was under the terrible fascination of
Mojave. That, after all, was why he had been
willing to come with us to the White Heart.
"Well," he said brusquely, "that's her!"
We all stood silent then. We were about three
thousand feet above the bottom of the valley
looking down from the north over its whole
length, an immense oblong, glistening with white,
alkali deposits, deep between high mountain
walls. We knew that men had died down there
in the shimmering heat of that white floor,
we knew that the valley was sterile and dead,
and yet we saw it covered with a mantle of such
strange beauty that we felt it was the noblest
thing we had ever imagined. Only a poet could
hope to express the emotion of beauty stronger
than fear and death which held us silent moment
after moment by the point of rock. Perhaps
some day a supreme singer will come around
that point and adequately interpret that thrilling
repose, that patience, that terror and beauty
as part of the impassive, splendid life that always
compasses our turbulent littleness around. Before
terror and beauty like that, something inside
you, your own very self, stands still; for a while
you rest in the companionship of greatness."
-- "The White Heart of Mojave
-- An Adventure with the Outdoors of the Desert," by Edna Brush